The company’s expansion is driven by its mission to make more nutritious foods available to more people and is reflected in new products’ nutrient profiles and simple ingredient combinations, but it remains to be seen whether this is sufficient to distinguish competitors’ offerings in the eyes of consumers.
Entering the ultra-filtered milk segment puts Chobani up against heavyweights like Coca-Cola, which has the advantage of being a forerunner in the space with Fairlife, which was introduced in the United States at the end of 2014 and saw its sales increase by 79% in 2016 as consumers learned about its value proposition and associated its brand with the category.
Shortly after the launch of Coca-Cola, Organic Valley – another household name – brought the first ultra-filtered organic milk to the United States in 2019 to be continued two years later by Maple Hill Creamery which pushed even more far with the launch of an ultra-filtered milk. 100% grass-fed, organic, sugar-free filtered milk.
Other companies, like Lucerin, Joyya, Dairgold, Slate and more, are also carving out their own category with points of differentiation that will appeal to health-conscious shoppers.
Although it may seem daunting to some, Chobani is good at entering categories filled with emerging and legacy brands and still manages to stand out, as exemplified by its rapid rise in the yogurt category.
And the potential price is worth the fight with Nielsen reporting that the ultra-filtered milk segment grew 17.5% in the 52 weeks ending Jan. 15, and a primary growth driver in the “easy-to-use” milk segment. digest” of $1.7 billion, according to Chobani.
To stand out in the ultra-filtered milk segment, Chobani claims its 20 grams of protein is 35% higher than the market leader and 2.5 times more than traditional milk. He argues that this makes it a “a healthy and convenient way to add more protein to recipes, like pancakes, smoothies, homemade ice cream and more.”
It also touts its reduced sugar — a common legend among ultra-filtered offerings — as half that of traditional milk (6 grams versus 12 grams for plain and 12 grams versus 24 grams for chocolate per 8 ounces).
Like other space actors, Chobani says its ultra-filtered milk is made through a “special filtration process to help remove lactose and halve sugar,” which results in a “texture rich and creamy, an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, and… all nine essential amino acids.
Additionally, like other players, Chobani’s ultra-filtered milk will sell for a premium with a measly half-gallon (59 ounces) costing $5.09 via online retailer Fresh Direct compared to the average price of $3.82 per gallon of conventional whole milk and $4.26 per half-gallon of organic whole milk, according to USDA.
That price currently gives it a slight competitive advantage over Fairlife, which Fresh Direct sells for $5.29 per 52-ounce container. Per pint, that breaks down to $1.63 for Fairlife and $1.38 for Chobani.
Building a Presence in the Coffee World
Chobani’s move into the smaller 50/50 segment, which he estimates at $1 billion based on Nielsen data, “continues to improve the coffee experience at home” with plain and lactose-free offerings that the company says are made “simply from farm-fresh milk and cream.”
Although simple, the ingredient set is not a significant point of differentiation, as Organic Valley, Horizon Organic, Land O Lakes and others offer half and half, including only milk and cream.
Still, it complements Chobani’s coffee routine offerings, complementing its recently expanded plant-based coffee creamer business to which it added four flavors earlier this month, including caramel macchiato, chocolate hazelnut, sweet and creamy. and French vanilla. This builds on Chobani’s non-GMO creamers that launched two years ago with no artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives – a decision he learned from the same playbook he used to grow his dairy business. yogurt.
This further complements the company’s entry into the ready-to-drink coffee category last January, which Chobani noted at the time “pairs beautifully with yogurt as a morning combo.”
All of the new launches are further differentiated thanks to their packaging — which is paper-based and widely recyclable across the United States, according to the company.